Blankingship & Keith’s Personal Injury Team Obtains a $3.250M Settlement for the Estate of a 16-year-old Boy Killed in a Construction Trench Collapse

On July 23, 2019, a 16-year-old boy working a part time summer job as a laborer on a construction site was killed when a dangerous trench he was in collapsed and buried him alive. 

The boy’s Estate filed a wrongful death suit against the construction company and its manager for their negligence.  The suit also sought recovery from the owner of the property for breaching its non-delegable duty to keep the property reasonably safe for invitees.  To avoid the Worker’s Compensation bar, the Estate voided the child’s employment contract and returned the compensation given to him while he was employed.  Although voidable contracts with minors and illegal contracts are both covered under the Act, a voided contract is void ab initio and therefore never existed. To show that the landowner was on notice of the dangerous condition, the plaintiff developed evidence that the construction manager was an agent of the landowner by showing that the construction manager had been living on the property for years without paying any rent.